Who should take this program?
If you have a professional background in law or in a legal field, this program might be right for you.
UC San Diego Extension's ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate combines practical skills with legal theory and analysis. Classes are taught by prominent attorneys and experienced paralegals who will provide you with a balanced perspective and insight into the tasks paralegals perform. You will gain a good understanding of the working relationship between the paralegal and attorney as well as civil litigation. Areas of curriculum include legal research, writing, interviewing and substantive and procedural law.
American Bar Association approved
American Bar Association (ABA) approval has become a benchmark for many employers who hire paralegals. To be considered for approval by the ABA, a program must meet standards adopted by the ABA Standing Committee on Paralegals. Both the UC San Diego Extension accelerated and part-time study programs have been granted ABA approval.
The ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate can be completed in two different ways:
- Accelerated Paralegal Certificate: complete the certificate in 3 months (one quarter). This intensive program is for the legal professional who is eager to become a paralegal quickly. You must complete 22 required credits, plus 6 elective credits to complete the one-quarter program. In 2019, the Accelerated Paralegal Certificate will be offered:
- March 21- June 13, 2019
- June 20 - September 12, 2019
- September 19 -December 12, 2019
- Paralegal Certificate: complete the certificate in 9 months (three quarters) of full-time studies. You must complete 22 required units plus 6 units of legal coursework and a minimum of 12 units of business coursework offered through UC San Diego Extension. You must also participate in a legal studies internship. After three quarters of full-time study, you are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in order to work in the U.S. for one year after the program. In 2019, the Paralegal Certificate will be offered:
- January 2 - June 13, 2019
- March 21 - December 12, 2019
- June 20 - March 12, 2020
- September 19 - June 11, 2020
- Offered in two different formats: in 3 months (Accelerated) or in 9 months
- Networking events with legal communities and organizations
- Familiarization with the U.S. legal system and the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services in public and private sectors
- Build critical paralegal skills such as investigation, legal research, interviewing and written and oral communication.
- Understand the theoretical background to perform the paralegal's tasks in substantive areas of law and legal specialties.
- Training in areas of procedural law emphasizing the paralegal's role in litigation, mediation and arbitration
- Learn the general principles of ethical legal practice as defined by the ABA's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and California's Business & Professions code 6450.
What this program includes:
Required courses (22 units)
- Introduction to the Legal System
- Legal Communications
- Business Law
- Computer Essentials for the Legal Professional
- Ethics for the Legal Professional
- Civil Litigation I and II
- Legal Research & Analysis
- Evidence Law
- Paralegal Career Success
Legal course electives (6 units):
- Intellectual Property Law
- Discovery Principles
- Tort Law
- Criminal Law and Procedures
- Corporate Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- and more...
The 9-month Paralegal Certificate also includes:
- Business course electives (up to 18 units):
- Financial Accounting
- Finance Management
- International Finance and Capital Markets
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Employee and Labor Relations
- Legal studies internship providing a valuable experience in the delivery of legal services and allowing you to apply knowledge gained through the paralegal program to real-world legal issues.
Below, please find the minimum requirements for acceptance to this program. We carefully review the background and qualifications of each applicant to ensure that those admitted into the program will have a successful experience.
Language Proficiency Requirement:
You must have one of the following test scores to participate in the ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate program:
- TOEFL paper-based: 550
- TOEFL iBT: 80
- Cambridge Advanced or Proficiency Exams: Pass
- IELTS 6.5
Additional Admission Requirements:
- Copy of your academic transcripts in English, indicating a strong academic record; include grading key
- A one-page statement explaining why you would like to take the ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate program
- Three letters of recommendation from an instructor, employer, co-worker, and/or client
Cost (in U.S. dollars):
Application fee: $200
ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate (1 quarter/3 months): $9,000
ABA-Approved Paralegal Certificate (3 quarters/9 months): $18,000
International Student Service fee: $380 per quarter
UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $585 per quarter
Certificate fee: $95
Books and materials for the legal courses are included in the price of the program. However, books and materials for all business courses (for the three-quarter Paralegal Certificate) must be purchased separately.